BENNETT OR JOKINEN?
One of the questions going into training camp was who would play left wing on Evgeni Malkin and James Neal’s line. Coach Dan Bylsma singled out Beau Bennett and Jussi Jokinen as candidates to fill that spot, and both of them had opportunities there in the preseason games -- and both did well alongside the longtime linemates.
But in Bennett and Jokinen’s first preseason game together tonight in Detroit, it looks like Bylsma wants another look at the Finnish forward on that line tonight as he was with Malkin and Neal during morning skate rushes. Bennett played left wing on the third line with Brandon Sutter and Chuck Kobasew.
We'd say Jokinen had a halfway decent audition there in his first look there on Saturday, scoring a hat trick against Columbus. But he said while he sees it as another chance to prove that he deserves to be the regular on that line, the focus is on the team playing a solid game.
“Obviously that’s my goal, to play on that line during the regular season,” he said. “But I think the biggest thing tonight for our team is going to be to just look for that solid 60-minute effort. We need to have our best game in the preseason so we can feel confident going into the regular season.”
Bennett, who played a couple of preseason games there and a handful of regular-season ones in 2012-13, says his mindset doesn’t change whether he’s skating with the second or third line.
“I think I’ve just got to be responsible, regardless,” he said. “Being a good F3 and being a good net-front on either line will go a long way. And I think on either line, there are great offensive players. They can carry the play, I’ve just got to get to the net and try to create some chances that way.”
Who do you guys want to see on that line? Jokinen or Bennett?
Dan Bylsma told the media following practice that Vokoun has left the hospital and is resting at home. He added that Fleury will be the starting goalie tonight vs. Detroit.
Letang sporting a little red underneath.
Orpik eyes up the rubber.
While the goalies stretch, Crosby does his best attempt as a netminder.
Fleury gets the start in goal tonight
--Sam Kasan & Dave Uhrmacher
CROSBY ON COVER OF REGIONAL SI
Sports Illustrated released their NHL preview this week. Pens captain Sidney Crosby graces the regional cover. SPOILER ALERT: SI picked the Pens to win the East, but lose in the Stanley Cup Final.
MORNING SKATE INFO
The Pens used the following lines/D-pairs at their morning skate at Southpointe...
The Pens rotated their six D-men.
GREAT MOMENTS IN PENS HISTORY
JEFFREY EARNING HIS SPOT
Head coach Dan Bylsma noted that there are still roster battles on the third and fourth lines. One player that’s been making a strong case for himself, particularly as the team’s fourth-line center, is Dustin Jeffrey.
“He will be in contention for a center position on the fourth line,” Bylsma said of Jeffrey. “He can go into a game as the fourth-line center, play on the power play and penalty kill. He’s done that in training camp. He’s done that pretty well with the opportunity that he’s been given.”
“I think it’s going pretty well,” Jeffrey said of camp. “As we’ve gotten more and more towards our lineup, the situations your put in have changed a little bit. Moving forward I have to keep taking advantages of the opportunities that are given to me.”
Full story here.
A PEEK IN(SIDE) THE ROOM
START ME UP
Good morning hockey fans. Tonight the Pens finish their preseason slate with a showdown against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on ROOT SPORTS. Or you can listen on the Penguins Radio Network. It appears that the Pens' lineup is getting close to how it will be at the start of the regular season.
29 MARC-ANDRE FLEURY – G
37 JEFF ZATKOFF – G
2 MATT NISKANEN – D
4 ROB SCUDERI – D
5 DERYK ENGELLAND – D
9 PASCAL DUPUIS – F
12 CHUCK KOBASEW – F
14 CHRIS KUNITZ – F
15 TANNER GLASS – F
16 BRANDON SUTTER – F
17 DUSTIN JEFFREY – F
18 JAMES NEAL – F
19 BEAU BENNETT – F
27 CRAIG ADAMS – F
36 JUSSI JOKINEN – F
41 ROBERT BORTUZZO – D
44 BROOKS ORPIK – D
58 KRIS LETANG – D
71 EVGENI MALKIN – F
87 SIDNEY CROSBY – F